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Taking Action to Avoid Burnout

Michelle Martin
Man and woman with yoga matts Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress, resulting in the loss of motivation for things we previously enjoyed. The negative effects of burnout spill over into personal and professional life, making us vulnerable to long-term physical and mental health illness.

Seventy-one percent of employees reported typically feeling tense or stressed out during the workday, and fifty-two percent of employees reported experiencing burnout. Because of its many consequences, it is important to deal with burnout right away.

Ask yourself the following questions:

• Do you feel stressed or irritable at even the thought of going to work?
• Do you have trouble getting motivated with both personal and professional projects?
• Have you become irritable or impatient with co-workers or clients?
• Do you lack focus or energy to be consistently productive?
• Are you using food, alcohol, prescribed drugs, or illegal substances as a distraction to feel better?
• Are you troubled by physical illness or emotional discomfort? Have your sleeping habits changed?

How can you interrupt the cycle of burnout? The 3 R’s:

1. Recognize: Watch for warning signs. Do not avoid taking action to course correct.
2. Reverse: Begin to undo damage by seeking support (personal and professional) and using self-care.
3. Resilience: Build resilience through daily mindfulness, gratitude, and self-support.

It is not always possible to avoid burnout, but here are a few tips:

• Evaluate your options. Seek collaboration when expressing concerns and solutions with leadership.
• Manage your time effectively. Build buffer and quiet moments between meetings and projects.
• Seek support. Reach out to co-workers, friends or loved ones for support and collaboration.
• Regular exercise and sleep. Regular physical activity and sleep can reduce stress and boost immunity.
• Avoid over consumption of sugar and caffeine throughout the day.
• Eat clean and real food to support both physical and mental health.
• Practice mindfulness and gratitude. Even simple things can create a positive mindset shift.
• Avoid perfectionism and negative self-talk. Give yourself and others compassion and empathy.
• Remember your boundaries: Emotional, mental, physical, and social.
• Try a relaxing activity and remember to make self-support part of every day!

Life stressors are unavoidable. The more proactive you can be regarding your health and wellbeing, the higher the success rate in moving through stressful situations and avoiding burnout.
Michelle MartinMichelle is a Certified International Health Coach (CIHC) and Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. She supports Canopy’s health and wellness initiatives through a holistic approach based on bio–individuality. Michelle writes and speaks about health-related issues including sleep hygiene, nutrition, mindfulness, and forgiveness. She has presented for a wide variety of industries and audiences, and encourages attendees to be boldly curious about their wellness journey. Michelle volunteers her time as a National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) instructor, providing evidence-based education and coaching for families of loved ones with a mental health condition.

Along with supporting wellbeing initiatives, she is part of the Customer Success Management team and assists with providing proactive service and solutions for Canopy Members and partners.

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